Women's Basketball Headed To NESCAC Championship Weekend - Ticket Info.

February 19, 2013

The Middlebury women's basketball team will travel to Amherst for the NESCAC Championship weekend. The Panthers will meet Wiliams on Saturday, February 23rd at 7:30 p.m., with the Bowdoin vs. Amherst game taking place at 5:30 p.m. The winners will meet on Sunday at 2:30 in the NESCAC Championship game.

Tickets for the NESCAC Basketball Championships will be on sale at McCullough box office from Thursday at 9:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. on Friday and are priced at $5 for adults and $2 for students. Separate tickets are needed for the men’s and women’s semifinals. Championship game tickets will go on sale at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, one ticket gains you admission to both title games. 

Amherst (24-1, 9-1 NESCAC) has been dominant over the last four seasons, accumulating an overall record of 119-5. After taking home the national title in 2011, the Lord Jeffs made their third straight appearance in the final four last winter. This year’s team opened with 22 straight wins before dropping a 71-51 decision to longtime rival Williams on February 10.

Led by sophomore Megan Robertson (Tewskbury, Mass.), Amherst cruised to an 80-34 triumph over seventh seeded Trinity on Saturday. The forward finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, three blocked shots and three steals in the contest. One year after earning NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors, Robertson has averaged 12.5 points and a league-best 9.2 rebounds per outing. She also leads the conference in field goal percentage (52.3%) and blocked shots (69). Amherst has received solid production from senior guard Marcia Voigt (Skillman, N.J.), who has posted 12.8 points per game to go with 56 steals and a league-high 103 assists.

The Lord Jeffs will have to find a way to get past an upset-minded Bowdoin (14-10, 4-6 NESCAC) squad to have a shot at their fifth NESCAC title. After narrowly qualifying for the tournament field, the Polar Bears used a balanced scoring attack to knock off the Jumbos. First year Selena Lorrey (Kittery Point, Maine) scored 11 points off the bench, while sophomore Sara Binkhorst (West Hartford, Conn.) added 10. Though she was limited to just nine points on Saturday, guard Kaitlin Donahoe (Amherst, N.Y.) has proven to be Bowdoin’s most dangerous offensive threat. The senior has drained 40 three-pointers on her way to a league-best 15.4 points per game. She has also accumulated team highs of 77 assists and 31 steals. The Polar Bears have more NESCAC titles to their credit than any other league team. In the 13 year history of the tournament, they have reached the final nine times and posted an impressive 29-4 mark. Bowdoin was dominant in the early years, capturing the first seven NESCAC championships from 2001-07. The Polar Bears added one more title in 2009 but have been held out of the winners circle since.

In five previous tournament meetings between the programs, Bowdoin owns a 3-2 advantage. Three of those matchups came in the conference finals. Amherst won this year’s regular season contest 74-58 on January 18.

Saturday’s second semifinal will feature third seeded Williams (21-4, 9-1 NESCAC) and fourth seeded Middlebury (14-11, 4-6 NESCAC). The Ephs will enter the weekend riding a five-game winning streak after a 72-43 victory over sixth seeded Wesleyan in the opening round. Senior forward Claire Baecher (Brunswick, Maine) was nearly unstoppable in the contest, racking up 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor. As a team, Williams leads the NESCAC in both field goal percentage (41.6%) and field goal percentage defense (28.4%). The Ephs have also amassed a league-best 184 blocked shots thanks to 54 apiece from Baecher and classmate Danny Rainer (Marlborough, Mass.). Baecher leads the team with 13.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Meanwhile, guards Grace Rehnquist (Sharon, Mass.) and Ellen Cook (Eugene, Ore.) have each added 10.4 points per outing.

Though six teams finished the year with identical 4-6 records in league play, Middlebury ultimately came out on top because of its results in head-to-head matchups. The Panthers took advantage, defeating Bates 75-64 to punch their ticket to the semifinals for the second time in program history. Senior guard Tracy Borsinger (Chatham, N.J.) set the tone with 18 points and seven rebounds, while junior Laura Lowry (West Hartford, Conn.) added 17 points. Borsinger is currently tied for the league lead with Donahoe at 15.4 points per game. The Panthers have also received a boost from junior guard Scarlett Kirk (San Francisco, Calif.), who has averaged 10.7 points and 5.6 boards. Classmate Katie Pett (Saginaw, Mich.) is among the league leaders with 8.3 rebounds per outing.

2013 NESCAC Women’s Basketball Championship
Quarterfinals – Saturday, February 16 (at Higher Seeds)
#8 Bowdoin def. #1 Tufts, 60-54
#2 Amherst def. #7 Trinity, 80-34
#3 Williams def. #6 Wesleyan, 72-43
#4 Middlebury def. #5 Bates, 75-64

Semifinals – Saturday, February 23 (at Amherst)
#8 Bowdoin at #2 Amherst - 5:30 pm
#4 Middlebury vs. #3 Williams - 7:30 pm

Championship – Sunday, February 24 (at Amherst)
Semifinal Winners – 2:30 pm

--courtesy NESCAC--